What to Plant:
Native Plants for the Shoreline
Here in Southeastern Massachusetts, we have the luck to experience two types of shorelines, freshwater and saltwater. Each presents a unique set of properties and needs that require native plants well suited for the area. Seashores require the most hardy, salt and sun tolerant plants which have extensive root systems that can knit fragile sand dunes together. Lake and river shores require plants that are adaptable to changing conditions, sometimes rapid currents, varying water levels, and difficult soil types. Many of these plants support sensitive wildlife that call these shorelines home.
Species marked with an asterisk* also tolerate intertidal zones (the area between low tide and high tide). Species marked with ** are great for freshwater shorelines.
- PDF: "Acceptable Plantings for Buffers to Resource Areas" - Brewster Conservation Commission
online: "Coastal Landscaping in Massachusetts" - Mass Gov (the majority of these are native but please note there are some non-native plants which we do not recommend)
PDF: "Coastal Dune Protection & Restoration" - Woods Hole Sea Grant
online: "American Beach Grass Planting Guide" - Sea Grant New York
PDF: "Trees & Shrubs for Coastal Environments" - Cape Cod Cooperative Extension